Common Sleep Myths – Fact or Fiction?

Sleep myths – Fact or fiction?

We spend around a third of our lives asleep. When you stop and think about this, it seems crazy that we could spend 25 YEARS unconscious if we live to the grand old age of 75! Say, whaaaaaaaaat.

It’s no surprise then that there are common misconceptions about the subject. Sleep is widely believed to be vital for the restoration and reparation of our bodies and brains, and all creatures do it differently.

See our articles on ‘How to get to sleep fast’ and ‘How to fix your sleep schedule’ for more information about why we sleep, how to sleep better and what to do when you can’t sleep.

We’ve looked at some of the most common and interesting ‘myths’ surrounding the topic of sleeping and have blown the fictions wide open, for you, our esteemed readers. Read on and enjoy.

You need 8 hours of sleep a night on average

More and more research is being conducted into the role of sleep and we know more now than ever, although there are some sleep mysteries that still remain.

The National Sleep Foundation commissioned a study into the optimum number of hours of sleep needed per night, for a range of age groups, and concluded that 7 – 9 hours of sleep was best for adults. Teenagers, newborns and children in general need more than this whilst the recommendation for older adults was 7 – 8 hours.

FACT – 8 hours of sleep a night is a perfect amount of sleep for adults.

8 hours sleep

You eat spiders while you’re asleep

Imagine this – you’re a small house spider looking for a quiet dark corner in which to live. You find yourself in a dark room, perfect, but there are some very large, noisy creatures. What do you do next?

Do you decide to investigate, climb onto one of these monsters faces and enter the hole you find wide open there?!

NO, of course you don’t. You run like hell in the other direction and find another place to hang out. This is a complete myth. Spiders are super sensitive to vibrations and both our heartbeats and breathing would put all species of house spider off approaching us, whilst awake or otherwise.

Not to mention the fact that if you felt 8 hairy little legs creeping over your face, you’d almost certainly wake up.

FICTION – we definitely do NOT eat 4 – 8 spiders a year!

The best time to exercise is at night, before bed

Exercising regularly helps us to maintain a healthy body, keeps our weight at a healthy level and works wonders for our mental wellbeing by releasing endorphins which make us feel happy.

These are all facts and have been scientifically proven by experts globally. The best time to exercise however, is another matter. This will depend on you as an individual, your routine, your work and your eating habits. Some people may find they can only workout before bed. Exercising late at night is still going to be better for you than not exercising at all.

Some sleep studies have suggested that exercising too close to bedtime can raise your body temperature which inhibits melatonin production and can delay you feeling tired and make you struggle to fall asleep. As said, this is personal to us as individuals. I can say for certain that if I went for a run before bed, I would definitely be crawling under the covers afterwards!

FICTION – the best time to exercise can only be determined by you and your schedule.

“Studies have shown that the quality of your sleep when drinking excessively is drastically reduced.”

Alcohol makes you sleep better

Many of us have enjoyed a night out and managed to over-indulge in a drink or two too many.

That feeling when you just need to go to bed after drinking too much has led many people to believe that drinking alcoholic drinks makes you sleep better.

It is true that alcohol depresses your central nervous system and reduces brain activity, making you feel relaxed and lethargic which can help you fall asleep.

However, studies have shown that the quality of your sleep when drinking excessively is drastically reduced. Falling asleep fast when inebriated sends many of straight into a deep sleep, known as REM sleep.

This creates an imbalance between the slow-wave sleep stages which can cause us to sleep fitfully, wake early and struggle to get back to sleep again. Consuming liquids in excess can also keep you up at night, adding to the poor-quality nights sleep.

FICTION – alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, but the quality of that sleep is often poor.

alcohol and sleep

Cheese gives you nightmares

This is one we all must have heard before – eating cheese before bed will give you bad dreams. Well, there doesn’t seem to be any conclusive research out there that dairy affects dreaming, however certain studies have made a correlation between cheese and the type of dreams we have.

One particular study was conducted by the British Cheese Board and whilst there was no evidence to suggest that people slept worse after consuming cheese, some did report that different cheeses caused different types of dreams – weird.

The bad reputation of cheese as a nightmare-inducing midnight snack may be due to the amino acids contained within this food item. These proteins help the production of serotonin and melatonin which are those lovely sleep-inducing hormones that help us fall asleep.

Whether this is the reason or not, we suggest that you avoid eating anything, cheese included, too close to bedtime as the process of digesting your food can keep us in a state of wakefulness and affect our ability to fall asleep.

FICTION – eating cheese before bed does not give you nightmares.

Only overweight people get sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition where someone stops and starts breathing whilst they’re asleep. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between obesity and sleep apnea, although this condition can affect people with a normal BMI.

While being overweight is one of the health conditions that can increase the likelihood of sleep apnea, it is not the only one.

Facial anatomy can also increase your chances of suffering from sleep apnea. Those with large tonsils, large necks and small jaws may be at risk of this condition too.

FICTION – sleep apnea can affect people who aren’t obese.

You only have dreams during REM sleep

Some people dream vividly and some people don’t dream at all. Some of us remember our dreams but others don’t. Dreaming is still a bit of a mystery and psychologists have studied this for years.

The experts have not managed to pinpoint why we dream but can confirm how we dream. Research has concluded that we dream in both REM and non-REM sleep stages.

Scientists say that REM dreams tend to be more vivid and can be more outlandish than those experienced during other sleep stages but that we do dream throughout the night.

FICTION – we dream at all stages of sleep, not just REM.

hot drink can help you sleep

A hot drink can help you to sleep

This is an age-old tale that we probably heard from our grannies – but does a nice warm drink help you get to sleep? Research has proven inconclusive and there is no definitive scientific proof that drinking a hot drink before bed can aid sleep.

However, there are elements to this ‘myth’ that may be true. Drinks such as chamomile tea and warm milk are often associated with making you feel sleepy. Let’s look at each individually.

Milk contains that lovely amino acid, tryptophan, which helps us produce our wonderful sleep hormones. This could be why drinking warm milky drinks before bed can induce feelings of relaxation. Chamomile has long been known for its health benefits and has been linked as a remedy to all kinds of ailments including diabetes, anxiety and for relieving menstrual pain.

One study claimed that chamomile acted like a benzodiazepine which is a drug that can induce sleep. Again there is no conclusive proof but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a super helpful flower.

FACT & FICTION – a hot drink doesn’t necessarily send you straight to sleep but a warm glass of milk before bed may help you to feel tired.


What is Melatonin?

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural hormone created by our body, is it our ‘sleep hormone’. It’s what makes you feel sleepy in the evening & keeps you asleep through the night.

It is a very important hormone as it promotes longevity, immune health & well-being due to sleep being a contributing factor to good mental health.


What Does Melatonin do?

When the sun starts to set the brain receives information from the eyes that it is dark. This information is passed through the optic nerve form the eye into the pineal gland, this is when melatonin production begins.

Humans in a modern society surrounded by technology & screens have not been able to adapt to these ‘new’ additions. Seeing blue light in the evenings after sunset can completely disrupt & reduce the amount of melatonin we produce naturally, meaning less optimised sleep. Find out how blue light affects sleep by reading our post.

Things that impact natural melatonin production negatively

• Blue light
• Looking at screens after sunset
• Light sleeping environment
• Eating too close to bedtime
• Having wifi on too close to your bed
• Drinking caffeine after 1pm
• Stress
• Alcohol consumption


How to increase melatonin naturally

Blue light blocking glasses
• Dark bedroom (or sleep mask)
• Cool bedroom
• Getting natural sunlight in the daytime
• Eating tryptophan rich foods
• Exercise regularly
Meditation for slee

positive for sleep

How does blue light affect melatonin production?

Blue light is both good & bad for sleep depending on how & when you absorb blue light. This is because the timing dictates how it affects melatonin production in humans at nighttime.

Going for walks in daylight, especially in direct sunlight is great for the production of melatonin in the evening time.

The reason for this is the blue light from the sun can help regulate the human body clock, meaning that it’ll reset to stay more awake in the day and then become tired after sunset.

So getting daylight from going on a walk every day, can help your body know when it’s the right time to produce melatonin.


Science has shown that blue light absorption in the evenings, as shown in this study, can be detrimental to sleep as it can suppress the body’s natural melatonin production.

The main place humans absorb blue light after sunset in todays world, is from screens. This is becoming a large problem across modern society.

With this suppression of melatonin, it is harder for people to get to sleep & their sleep quality is reduced significantly. This is why there it is more common for people to be using blue light blocking glasses in the evenings, that block out more than 90% of blue light.

The reason for wearing these is to help optimise & increase your natural production of melatonin, by blocking out blue light in the evenings.

Therefore, blue light shouldn’t always be seen as ‘bad light’, because if you receive natural blue light in the daytime it can be beneficial for you.

Caffeine and sleep

Drinking caffeine in the afternoon or evening can affect sleep negatively because it is a stimulant that has a 5 hour half life. That means that means that after 10 hours there can still be some caffeine left in the body after consumption.

The reason that this is bad is because caffeine works on the adrenal glands, which make you feel alert. The problem with this is, it can delay the onset of the production of melatonin.

When you’re trying to sleep you need the complete opposite feelings, like feeling relaxed. Caffeine can increase onset time to sleep by inhibiting the production of melatonin.

Because of this, it can also reduce the quality of sleep & and the total time asleep. Reducing your total sleep time over a long period could result in some negative health side effects.

How does alcohol affect sleep?

Contrary to what some people used to believe, alcohol does not help with sleep in any way. It has been used over the years to ‘help’ people fall asleep, as it is a sedative & can make you feel sleepy.

The truth is, when alcohol is in your system and you go to sleep, you aren’t really sleeping properly.


What’s happening is that the body has been sedated, it is not repairing & recovering through the different sleep cycles. There is a complete reduction in melatonin production in the body, hence why your body doesn’t go through all the sleep cycles properly.

A study showed how different levels of alcohol affected sleep. The results were as follows:

Low amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 9.3%

(less than 2 drinks for men / less than 1 drink for women)

Moderate amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 24%

(approximately 2 drinks for men / 1 drink for women)

High amounts of alcohol decreased sleep quality by 39.2%

(more than 2 drinks for men / more than 1 drink for women)

Now as you can see from these stats from the study, the effects of alcohol are very drastic on sleep markers.

Even just one alcoholic drink can disrupt sleep quality by nearly 10%. This is a huge number if you were to use alcohol before sleep for prolonged periods.

Meditation to fall asleep

Meditation has been proven to help with sleep, as it can help improve the amount of melatonin serum in your blood as shown in this study.

This could be due to the relaxed harmony between mind & body. We know that stress can cause us to have worse quality sleep, so it makes sense that meditation may be able to improve sleep markers.

It appears that meditation for sleep can be used to battle insomnia, as this study shows that mindfulness meditation could be a viable treatment. One important thing to note is that meditation is a skill that takes a lot of practice.

Once you have gained knowledge and experience practicing meditating, the potential to alleviate insomnia & improve sleep quality is something to really consider for your health & wellbeing.

What foods contain melatonin?

When looking for foods that contain melatonin, you can also look for is foods contain tryptophan. It’s a precursor to melatonin production, meaning it is the building blocks to the sleep hormone. The following foods contain melatonin:

• Pistachios
• Fatty Fish
• Rice
• Bananas
• Goji Berries
• Oats
• Mushrooms
• Corn
• Tart Cherries
• Eggs

banana for sleep

Can you supplement with melatonin?

In the US you can buy melatonin over the counter in any store, but in the UK is has to be prescribed by a doctor. 

But when taking any new supplement or drug, you should always speak to a medical professional or doctor first, even if you can buy the products over the counter.

Why is melatonin banned in the UK

Melatonin is not banned in the UK. It is actually legal to use within the UK & is deemed safe, it just has to be prescribed. 

The reasons for this is that the long term effects of melatonin supplementation has not been studied.

The worry is that using melatonin consistently for years may decrease your natural production, which in theory could cause some health problems. 

The current advice is to use melatonin supplementation for short periods of time, only for when you’re having sleep issues. If you’re in the UK, you can find out the alternatives to melatonin for optimising sleep.

Benefits of melatonin

If you do get melatonin prescribed, some of the benefits include:

• Sleep wake cycles regulation
• Jetlag help – reset your clock
• For delayed sleep wake phase disorder
• Promote eye health
• Antioxidant
• Potential Anti-inflammatory

Sleep wake cycles that are slightly out of pattern can be potentially reset by taking melatonin.

This is why melatonin is used for jetlag to try and get the body to re-adjust to the time zone by taking melatonin at nighttime.

It can essentially help your body readjust to its surroundings, as humans are not adapted to moving time zones so quickly, through plane travel.

It is noted that melatonin can promote eye health, have anti-inflammatory properties & is able to reduce free radical damage.

If you do not want to take medication, you should maybe consider these melatonin alternatives.

melatonin alternatives uk

Is There an Alternative to Melatonin?

Top 10 Alternatives to Melatonin

Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone that it produced within the body at nighttime, it can also be taken exogenously as a supplement. Melatonin cannot be bought over the counter in the UK.

This is due to some long-term safety concerns, in thinking that by taking it you could deplete your own body’s natural production of melatonin. This theoretically could end up disrupting your sleep over time if it were to be true, there is no evidence to support this theory though as it is deemed to be safe to take.

Do doctors prescribe melatonin?

Yes, doctors do prescribe melatonin in the UK, but they often try to work out if there are other ways to help your sleep without turning to melatonin.

That’s why people often search; is there an alternative to melatonin?

Yes, there are alternatives available that can help your natural production of melatonin. some of these can improve your sleep markers. Unfortunately there are some people that turn to online sleeping pills uk that are more dangerous & should only be used for a short space of time.

Fortunately, there are now natural sleep aids available that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer & get deeper sleep.

ZLEEPY® Meditation Candle + Hush Earplug Set noise reduction Up to 26dB (SNR) earplugs-for-sleeping ZLEEPY® White Silk Pillowcase + Hush Earplug Set noise reduction Up to 26dB (SNR) earplugs-for-sleeping

Natural sleep aids uk

Below are a selection of different natural sleep aids uk that can help you optimise your sleep. Some are supplements, some are tips & techniques that can help you boost your own melatonin naturally, to save you from having to supplement with it. These are deemed more natural alternatives.


Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate uk is a popular & well tolerated type of magnesium, it is a good alternative to melatonin that can be used before you go to bed. It is very good at reducing the stress hormone ‘cortisol’, which if high at night it can disrupt sleep dramatically.

Magnesium glycinate is often added into help with recovery from athletic performances, because of these cortisol reduction effects.


Magnesium glycinate also binds to the GABA receptor in the brain, this helps slow your brain activity down so that you can relax. Being able to unwind is an issue for some individuals, so implementing magnesium glycinate into your nighttime regime might be beneficial for those people.

Doses tend to be around 400-500mg for magnesium glycinate, which can offer around 150-300mg of elemental magnesium.

Elemental magnesium is the important part of the supplement, as it is the actual amount of magnesium that you will be getting into your system.

If you don’t like taking capsules, you can look to using magnesium oil spray, in which you can rub the oil into your feet. This method means that you can bypass the digestive system & still enjoy the benefits of magnesium.

 Always speak to your doctor first before taking any supplements.

You can find out more details about the mechanism of magnesium for sleep here.

L-theanine sleep

L-theanine is very commonly used along side magnesium for sleep purposes, it is often seen stacked against other natural supplements as it has a calming affect. When used in the mornings along side coffee, it can reduce caffeine anxiety & calm the ‘jitters’.

When L-theanine is used in a nighttime setting, it is good to take it around 30 minutes before your intend to go to sleep.

L-theanine works by slowing down/blocking the production of excitatory neurotransmitters, these can often keep you awake by increasing your brain activity.


It is known enhance alpha brain waves. These alpha brain waves are known to be produced when you’re feeling calm & relaxed.

When you’re lying down relaxing before you go to sleep, you’ll be starting to produce these alpha brain waves. Being able to enhance the alpha brain waves can promote even more relaxation, which in turn can promote a faster onset of sleep.

One L-theanine study looked into how L-theanine affects stress and it’s impact on sleep quality. The study was a double-blind randomised placebo controlled study with 16 participants. The results suggested that L-theanine was able to significantly reduce stress levels and improve sleep quality by enhancing non-REM sleep.

Another L-theanine study looked at boys with ADHD, it was able to show that L-theanine improved sleep quality and reduced hyperactive behaviours and anxiety in the participants. 

A good dose for sleep is said to be between 200-300mg per day.

5HTP for sleep

5HTP is comes from the substance L-tryptophan, which is the sole precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor to the sleep hormone melatonin, which is why 5HTP is seen as a melatonin free sleep aid, as it helps you naturally produce the hormone through other means.

Other effects of 5HTP are noted to be a mood enhancement & also have potential to help depressive symptoms, due to it being the precursor to serotonin.

There needs to be more studies on this matter as the evidence in inconclusive for these hypothesis as stated in this study.

Best time to take 5HTP as melatonin alternative

The best time to take 5HTP for sleep would be 30-45 minutes before bedtime, with a dose of around 200mg.

Do not take 5HTP if you’re currently taking SSRI medication & always speak to a doctor before taking any new supplements.


Glycine for sleep

Glycine is an amino acid that is also a neurotransmitter that the human body creates from biochemical compounds. Glycine can be consumed through a lot of meats, fish & eggs.

It can help you fall asleep more quickly, as it can be an inhibitory neurotransmitter. This means that it can reduce neuron firing within the brain, which makes your brain is less active so that you can fall asleep.

Glycine can help lower the body’s core temperature, which as we know having a lower body temperature can increase the production of melatonin & improve your sleep quality, as shown by this study. You can read more on how to get to sleep fast here.


When to take glycine

For sleep, you should look to take 3-5g about 30-45 minutes before your bedtime. That way it has enough time to be absorbed by the body, so that it can help you fall asleep faster once you go to bed. As always, speak to your doctor every time you’re considering adding a new supplements to your regime.

When to take holy basil for sleep

Holy basil has been around for thousands of years, it has been used in Indian medicine for an array of conditions. Holy basil is considered to be good for the body, mind & spirit.

This holy herb has been noted anecdotally to potentially reduce anxiety in some individuals & improve. In this study it was said that sleep problems & feelings of fatigue reduced, this it thought to have been due to the reduced stress levels of participants.


Holy Basil for high cortisol

There’s still a lot more research needed to be done on this plant, but it could be useful for some individuals due to its potential cortisol reducing effects.

We know that sometimes when we have high cortisol, it can really disrupt sleep. This is why holy basil is being used more often for sleep issues & anxiety issues caused by high cortisol.

Holy basil dose

One study showed that taking 500mg of holy basil made people feel less anxious, stressed & depressed.

But doses range from 300mg-2000mg & for sleep it would be beneficial to take holy basil 30 minutes before you go to bed.

As always, its best to speak to your doctor before taking any new supplements or medications.

Valerian Root for Sleep

University of Washington Study: This study examined the efficacy of valerian root extract in improving sleep quality among older adults.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive valerian or a placebo, with sleep quality assessed through various methods including sleep logs and polysomnographic recordings. The study found that valerian significantly improved sleep quality with minimal side effects

Valerian Root Dose for Sleep

Once you’ve checked with your doctor, take 300-600mg capsules 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed time.

You can also drink 2 to 3 grams of Valerian Root Tea, the same amount of time before bed as the capsules above.

Sleep Patches

Natural calming Sleeping Patches contain high bio-available CBD & lavender therapy, for a deeper & more refreshing sleep. How does lavender help you sleep?

Lavender has been  found in studies to help reduce anxiety & promote sleep via the way it interacts with the GABA receptors within the brain. Hemp has also been shown to increase sleep duration help manage REM sleep in some studies.

Best eye mask for sleeping

Darkness is essential for natural melatonin production to be at its most optimal levels. In todays society, it can sometimes be extremely hard to have a sleep environment that is completely dark.

Sleep masks help trick your brain into thinking it’s completely dark, even when its not. This is a good way of being able to increase your natural production of melatonin throughout the night, meaning that you can improve your sleep quality.

A 3D Sleep Mask was shown to increase overall sleep time, REM Sleep & recovery which is a huge boost in a sleep score.

Sleep masks are seen as another melatonin alternative. It’s no surprise that as people become more health conscious & want to take care of their wellbeing, they are implementing sleep masks into their daily sleep routine habbits.

Best blue light blocking glasses for sleep

Blue light blocking glasses are a recent revelation & have been implemented into people’s nighttime routines to improve overall sleep quality.

These red lens glasses are a melatonin alternative because of the mechanism of blocking out blue light, it means that the human body will naturally upregulate and produce more melatonin naturally, which improves sleep.


This is important in modern day lifestyles because humans are surrounded by screens that emit blue light, which is sleep disrupting when absorbed in the evening. Humans were not designed to see blue light after sunset, but with the rapid introduction of technology & screens humans haven’t had time to adapt to this excess exposure.

Noted in this study, adding blue light blocking glasses to your routine can improve your onset time to sleep & sleep quality, due to the increase in melatonin serum in the body when worn 3 hours prior to sleep.

Magnesium Flakes for sleep

Magnesium flakes have gained popularity as a natural remedy for improving sleep quality.  Magnesium flakes are a highly absorbable form of magnesium that can be easily absorbed through the skin during a relaxing bath.

The warm water and the magnesium flakes work together to soothe muscles, calm the mind, and promote a sense of relaxation, making it an excellent choice for those who struggle with insomnia.

The use of magnesium flakes for sleep is also supported by research. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep quality, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and increase sleep duration.

Reduced sleep disruptions with magnesium

In one study, researchers found that participants who took magnesium supplements experienced fewer awakenings during the night and felt more rested in the morning than those who took a placebo.

The high absorbability of magnesium flakes also makes them an effective option for those who have difficulty swallowing pills or digesting oral supplements.

Additionally, it is crucial to use high-quality magnesium flakes from a reputable source and follow the recommended dosage instructions to avoid any potential side effects.


Cold Showers

Do cold showers help you sleep?


Cold showers before bed are now known to help increase overall sleep markers. This is due to the drastic drop in body temperature which ‘primes’ you for sleep. The drop in temperature in the evening helps your body start to release melatonin, which prepares your body & mind for sleep.

How to use a cold shower for sleep

When you have finished cleaning yourself in the shower & you’re ready to get out;

Turn the shower down to the coldest setting and try and stay under for 1-5 mins.

Start small & build up over the coming days. This will take some testing, as a certain (small) percentage of people might actually end up feeling stimulated after cold water therapy, meaning this wouldn’t be optimal for sleep for these people.

Cold showering is a really cheap alternative for you to try / add to your sleep routine! You can also use a cold bath, but cold shower is the easiest and quickest tool to add into your sleep regiment.


Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?

Sleep Better Tonight: The Truth About Magnesium and Its Impact on Sleep

In the modern world that we live in, sleep is becoming harder & harder to master. Getting more than your recommended 7 hours of shut eye can be tough for a lot of people.

People are always looking for an alternative to melatonin & that’s why we’re often asked, does magnesium help you sleep?

The answer is YES, sort of. The thing is, it depends on a few factors that you need to consider.


Best Magnesium for Sleep

There are many different types of magnesium, people often just run out to their local supplement shop and just buy any magnesium without realising that they all have different properties.
The different types of magnesium are:

  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium taurate
  • Magnesium threonate
  • Magnesium sulphate
This is why it can get really confusing when buying magnesium. You’ll be wondering;

Which is the Best Magnesium for Sleep?

Our choice is Magnesium Glycinate.

Magnesium Glycinate has a higher bio-availability compared to other compounds like magnesium oxide or chloride, meaning that it is more easily absorbed by the body.

This glycinate version of magnesium is also tolerated well by humans, as some types can make people have diarrhea or feel unwell in general.

Be warned, taking too much magnesium can resort in upsetting your body’s natural zinc, copper & calcium balance.


Why is Zinc and Magnesium Good for You?

Zinc & Magnesium are elements that are needed by the body to function optimally, for different purposes. Zinc is used by the body for things like wound healing, growth & development, immune function & protein synthesis.

Magnesium is the second biggest human deficiency behind vitamin D, meaning that a lot of us have to supplement it so that our body can work properly.

Once magnesium is absorbed by the body it has many benefits that include:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Bone health
  • Reduced symptoms of PMS
  • Athletic recovery
  • Better sleep

What Dose of Magnesium Glycinate Should I Take for Sleep?

Magnesium glycinate doses are often seen around 1350mg-3000mg, with zinc daily dosing often around 15-50mg.

This magnesium glycinate dose will get you around 150mg-300mg of elemental magnesium (the actual part of magnesium you want to absorb).

Always check the back of your label to find out the amount of elemental magnesium you will be getting.

Elemental Magnesium Daily Doses

Adult Men should get around 400-420mg each day.

Women should aim to get a total daily dose of around 310-320mg per day.

Athletes should aim to get anywhere between 400-600mg of elemental magnesium.

You should always speak with your doctor when trying any new supplements.

How Does Magnesium Help with Sleep?

Magnesium can help with your sleep optimisation in several different ways, one way is that it can help reduce cortisol levels.

Cortisol is the bodies ‘stress’ hormone, this can keep you awake at night as it can affect anxiety levels.

If you have too much cortisol in your body at night it can increase your heart rate & body temperature.

For the best sleep, it has been proven that your body temperature needs to lower at night to induce sleep, that’s why sleeping in a cold room helps you get better sleep. You can read more about how to get to sleep fast.


Cortisol levels can increase by having caffeine, work stress or if you’ve been exercising really hard without enough recovery.

Supplementing magnesium can reduce cortisol levels, which in turn can improve sleep.

Another way in which magnesium can help with sleep, is that it can promote relaxation. It does this by binding to the GABA receptors, which in turn stimulates the natural production of GABA in the brain.


This slows down our brain activity so that we can feel relaxed, with less brain messages firing.

Sometimes when you’ve got outside stresses going on in your life, these stresses can impact your sleep, wake you up in the middle of the night & also stop you from getting back to sleep.

What is sometimes happening in this instance is something called a catecholamine dump.


This is when your body is failing to deal with neurotransmitter clearance, for things such as dopamine.

More specifically it’s the enzyme COMT (catechol-O-methyl transferase) which manages the neurotransmitter clearance, but it is being slowed.

If this process is slowed, the brain cannot clear dopamine which means that you are more likely to wake up. COMT needs magnesium to function properly, to clear out these neurotransmitters which will help keep you asleep in your sleep cycle.

Types of Magnesium Administration

There are several ways in which people like to use magnesium, the main one being supplementing with capsules, as you can get an accurate dosing.

This is often one of the cheaper methods to use. This is often where people will either take something like magnesium glycinate in the evening for sleep, or magnesium threonate for cognitive function.

Can you absorb magnesium through the skin?

Another method is magnesium oil spray for relaxation, sleep & to help with eczema and psoriasis.

This is a convenient way of absorbing magnesium called transdermal magnesium. This is where the skin uses a mechanism to absorb and breakdown the magnesium.

If you want to find out more about the meaning of transdermal you can follow the link to read more.


You can also buy magnesium creams or lotions, they are to be rubbed into your skin as a moisturiser. The skin is good for absorbing magnesium, but the only issue is you can’t specify a certain dose.

The final way is using Lavender Epsom Salts, Eucalyptus Bath Salts or Magnesium Flakes in your bath, these contain magnesium & can be broken down and absorbed into your skin while you’re bathing yourself.

These can be very relaxing, but it’s also hard to get an exact dosing.

What are gaming glasses?

Gaming glasses uk

What are gaming glasses & why are they being recognised as an important necessity for gamers? Let me give you a quick background to the reason why, before we get into the smaller details. 

The gaming industry has grown dramatically over the last 15 years. The market size is currently said to be worth around 174 billion dollars & is expected to reach around 315 billion dollars by 2027 according to Mordor Intelligence.

This is partly due to the growth in new technologies, and also as of recently projects like the metaverse coming into our lives soon, which will really push the gaming industry even further.

It is estimated that there are over 3 billion gamers in the world, this can range from hardcore gamers on PC, or the ages 60+ indulging in some candy crush on their phone or tablet. One thing that they all have in common though, is that they’re all staring at screens.

This is why recently there has been an uptake in people wearing gaming glasses uk, or more specifically blue light blocking glasses to help protect their eyes from screens.

"Nearly 70% of US adults experience digital eye strain as a result of increasing use of digital devices” – The Vision Council.

Do screens damage your eyes?

The Vision Council in the US have previously stated that “Nearly 70% of US adults experience digital eye strain as a result of increasing use of digital devices”, we imagine that to be similar numbers in the UK due to the similarities that we share in lifestyles.

Short term side effects

There’s also short term side effects of too much blue light which include:

• Eye strain
• Headaches
• Blurred vision
• Dry eyes

Now these don’t sound too scary, but if they keep happening every once or twice a week it could really start to impact your wellbeing negatively. What about long term side effects?

Potential long term side effects of blue light digital devices

Now, the current research into screens and long term eye damage is still ongoing, but current studies suggest that blue light from screens may increase the risk of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina.

Animal studies have shown that from a few minutes, up until many hours of blue light exposure may be harmful, especially if exposed  to it continuously over time.

If you’re an avid gamer, you’ll potentially be at a higher risk of the side effects of screens. This is why people are now becoming more conscious about their health, and are now investing in blue light blocking glasses / gaming glasses uk.

do screens damage your eyes?

What are gaming glasses?

Gaming glasses are used to block out and reflect harmful blue light from screens, while spending multiple hours gaming on a computer or phone device.

Most clear lens gaming glasses from reputable sources block out & reflect between 20-40% of blue light, to help your eyes feel sharp & have reduced fatigue while gaming.

Do gaming glasses help with headaches?

Yes, they do help with headaches in many individuals. Due to the blue light blocking & reflective nature of most gaming glasses, they are known for reducing headaches & eye strain.

They are used as a tool by gamers to increase gaming sessions length & quality. With tired, sore & fatigued eyes it becomes a lot harder to compete effectively.

These are the typical gamer glasses as they’re great to use if you’re looking at a screen for more than 2-3 hours, as the blue light can be quite taxing on your eyes.

You can also find out on why people wear blue light glasses for health & sleep benefits here.

Many gamers & streamers can often be looking at screens for 4 hours or more, which would make these clear lens gaming glasses effective at reducing eye strain & headaches while competing at any level.

These clear lenses are great as you have protection without your gaming vision being compromised, as these lenses are clear for fast paced gaming which is typically what most gamers need.

Red lens blue light glasses

There are another type of blue light blocking glasses that are also gaming glasses, these have red lenses.

These block out & reflect up to 98% of blue & green light, meaning that they give a high level of protection. These are best used for slower paced gaming like on strategy games or board style games.

These are mainly used in evenings to try and help you wind down after a heavy gaming session, to help protect your eyes from blue light to help prepare you for when you go to bed. If you do sometimes have trouble falling to sleep after gaming, wearing these two hours before your bedtime can help improve sleep onset times.

What are the best gaming glasses?

The best gaming glasses are said to be ones that block out around 40% of blue light & are lightweight & thin to fit under your headphones. Many glasses are made quite bulky and can be irritating & distracting to the ear while playing with over the ear headphones.

ZLEEPY® offer a 2 pack of Blue Light Gaming Glasses, where you will receive both types of lenses, the clear lens that block out and reflect up to 40% of blue light & the red lens glasses for evening wear, on those slower paced games before bed that block out 98% of blue & green light, which in turn can help with sleep.

ZLEEPY® Glasses have been designed to be thin, lightweight & comfortable to fit under headphones with ease.


We believe that gaming can be played healthily, as it is social and can be good for people’s mental health. What we would say is being more conscious of your eye health & health in general could give you some positive benefits.

Our tips to help with your gaming health:

  • Take a break away from your screen every 30-60 minutes
  • Reduce late night time playing, as blue light exposure at night can disrupt sleep.
  • Use blue light blocking glasses to reduce blue light exposure.
Don’t just completely cut out gaming just because of blue light, it may have some positive benefits for your lifestyle, like helping you to relax and unwind by yourself or while you’re with friends. 

How to get to sleep fast

How to get to sleep fast

Our daily lives move at an ever-increasing pace and for many of us, being able to switch our brains off to sleep is becoming harder and harder. When there is so much sensory information to take in every minute of every day, it’s no wonder getting to sleep can prove illusive at times.

The main function of sleeping is to repair our brains and bodies. When we struggle to fall asleep, or stay asleep, it affects our ability to function in our waking lives.

We live our lives through an embodied experience, dependent primarily on the ‘vessel’ we drive. Our daily experiences will differ depending on our gender, age, size – even the way we motivate ourselves is driven by our physical body.

When we don’t stop to repair ourselves, we begin to struggle doing the most simple of tasks. Just ask any parent of a newborn baby (or puppy)!

dont go to bed too early for better sleep

Getting an adequate amount of sleep daily can be overlooked but is absolutely essential to having a healthy brain, body and mind. In fact, many health experts agree that the key to being your most successful self is maintaining a healthy lifestyle which not only includes a healthy diet, but also enough sleep to ensure we are functioning the best we can be during our waking hours.

There are many factors which can affect our ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. Being aware of the tweaks we can make to our daily routines can make a real difference to our ability to fall asleep fast. Read on for our top sleeping tips.

Maintain a healthy diet

Certain foods have been proven to interfere with our ability to sleep soundly, while there are other foods that promote feeling sleepy. There are some experts who suggest foods can even influence our dreams.

I know I have had some crazy dreams after a cheeseboard! Many agree that eating a meal at least 3 hours before you go to bed gives your body enough time to digest without affecting your ability to fall asleep.

Similarly, foods that can help you sleep include carb-rich foods that make you feel lethargic and can be sleep inducing whilst sugary snacks often do the opposite.

Exercise regularly

Whilst not essential to be able to fall asleep, staying active during your waking hours and getting enough exercise daily/weekly can help tire out your body so you yearn for rest which consequently can help you fall asleep faster.

Get enough daylight

Spending some time in the sun during the day can help reset your circadian rhythm, this means that it helps your body stay awake during the day & get sleepy at night time.

Our tips for this would be to try and go on a walk every day, even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes to help your body reset its body clock.


Routine, routine, routine

Everyone has their own little daily routines – from the way we make tea to the way we dress. Studies have shown that maintaining a regular routine before you go to bed can help prepare you better for sleep.

Try going to bed at a similar time each night, eating your meals around the same time and getting up at a consistent time to best ensure your body and brain know how and when it is time to go to sleep.

Limiting device use and distraction

Try turning your phone to ‘do not disturb’ mode in advance of going to bed. The ability to switch off from distractions will help your brain to focus on the task at hand – falling asleep.

Paying attention to a screen before bed, whilst tiring for your eyes, can also be stimulating as you’re consuming information rapidly.

“Exposing yourself to blue light at night-time inhibits your bodies natural production of melatonin.”

Looking at artificial screens at night-time is exposing yourself to blue light, this inhibits your body’s natural production of melatonin (the body’s sleep hormone), which in turn will increase the amount of time that it takes you to get to sleep.

Give your brain a rest and switch off earlier. You could pick up a book instead, as many find this a way to relax and slowly decompress after a busy day.

You could also add Blue Light Blocking Glasses to your night-time routine to help limit your blue light exposure, increasing your chances of falling asleep faster.

Best temperature for sleep

It has been suggested that warm showers and a cool bedroom can play an important part in getting to sleep fast so keep your window open and your radiator off – this might save you money on your energy bills too.

The optimal temperature for sleep is said to be around 18.3°C (65°F). This helps your core body temperature drop, which in turn can increase the onset of sleep time & also increase the amount of deep sleep that you can achieve.

For even better results, you might want to keep your socks on! Making sure those little piggies are warm and cosy can be comforting and help aid relaxation before falling asleep.

room temperature sleep

Luckily one of the perks of being surrounded by so much available information is that there are plenty of techniques for us to try to help us attain the coveted and recommended minimum 7 hours of sleep a night. See our favourite tips to get to sleep fast below.

Breathing techniques for sleep

Perhaps the most obvious technique for getting to sleep fast is to try and slow down your breathing. There are a few different breathing exercises you can try. See which one works best for you.

Box breathing technique

The box breathing technique can be used to clear your mind and relax your body and can be done anywhere. Box breathing can help settle your mind and alleviate stress and is not just used as a sleeping technique, it can be helpful in stressful situations or to relieve anxiety.

To try box breathing, close your eyes and breathe in slowly through your nose whilst counting to four. Hold your breath whilst counting to four again and then exhale slowly through your mouth to a count of four. The simple task of counting helps focus your mind and you’ll find, inevitably, your body will follow suit and start to let go of any tension. This exercise can be repeated as many times as needed to help induce calm.

4 7 8 breathing method

Another common breathing technique is the 4 7 8 breathing method. Similar to box breathing, this exercise has a longer hold and exhale count.
First, close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven and slowly exhale whilst counting to eight.

The benefits of the 4 7 8  breathing method is that a longer exhale takes more effort and concentration, thereby helping really focus on your breathing and aiding faster relaxation.


Meditation for sleep is the practice of clearing your mind to achieve a mentally calm state. Research has shown that meditating before you go to sleep can help leave the stresses of your day behind, help you unwind emotionally and physically and prepare your mind for sleep.

Try sitting or lying in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, slow down your breathing and really concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. Empty your mind of thoughts and focus on your breathing only.

meditation for sleep

You can use soundtracks to help with visualisations which is often used at the end of yoga classes. Remain like this until you feel relaxed enough to fall asleep.

This method might take a lot of time to become competent and experienced with, but once you master the technique you can dramatically improve your sleep.

Sleep Supplements

Certain nutrients have been proven to aid sleep quality. Magnesium is one of the most prevalent minerals in your body and plays a vital role in regulating many of our physiological processes, including energy production and facilitating the restoration of our brain and body. 

Studies show that many of us are lacking in magnesium, however this can be remedied by including more of particular types of foods in our diets, such as certain nuts and seeds, spinach, avocado and salmon.

You can also get magnesium supplements which can be beneficial for aiding sleep when taken alongside a healthy diet. How does magnesium help with sleep? You can find out by reading our blog.

Progressive muscle relaxation

PMR, or progressive muscle relaxation, is a recommended method for helping those with insomnia get to sleep.

Similarly to meditation, it requires you to be in a comfortable position and to clear your mind. You then begin at the top of your body and tense certain body parts for 5 seconds at a time before relaxing them and pausing, then moving on to the next part.


You could start with lifting your eyebrows, then scrunching your nose, smiling widely, stretching your next and so on. The progressive tension followed by relaxation can help relieve tension and aid falling asleep.

Sleep Aids

Whilst a maintain a healthy lifestyle is probably the most effective way to make sure you sleep well consistently, there are certain sleep aids you can try.

Weighted blankets, for example, can help with serotonin production by putting gentle pressure on the body which can help calm our nervous system and aid relaxation. Some studies have show that this can benefit those with insomnia, depression and anxiety also.

Pillow sprays that contain calming extracts, such as lavender, can also help soothe us to sleep.

Other techniques such as playing white noise can help block out distractions that disrupt our ability to fall asleep. This is commonly used to help babies get to sleep and can be soothing for some.

Why should I wear blue light blocking glasses?

Why should I wear blue light blocking glasses?

Why wear blue light blocking glasses? Do they really work?

There are different types of glasses for different purposes, some are to be used in the daytime to filter out and reduce the artificial blue light that you absorb while working at a computer screen.

The other type of blue light blocking glasses are designed to be worn in the evenings, to block out the majority of blue light to help natural melatonin production in the evenings for improved sleep markers.

The evidence so far is in early stages, but exposure to blue light after sunset has been shown to reduce the natural production of melatonin in comparison to individuals wearing blue light blocking glasses (1.)(2.).

Blue light has been shown to effectively inhibit the human body’s natural production of melatonin, the bodies natural sleep hormone.

The production of this hormone is vital for good quality sleep and duration. Essentially, blue light exposure in the evening tricks your body into thinking it is the daytime, which reduces your overall sleep quality as less melatonin is being produced by the body.

The idea is of these glasses is to protect your eyes from blue light after sunset, to help your body produce more melatonin naturally so that you can improve your sleep markers (3.)(4.).

Should I block blue light in the daytime?

If you’re working at a computer screen for more than 3 or 4 hours, you should consider wearing a pair of glasses that reflect and block around 40% of the blue light. These lenses are slightly tinted yellow, but they look clear.

If you’re walking around outside, it is best to get as much blue light exposure as you can through the daytime to your eyes and skin, as it can help improve mood, performance & sleep.

If you suffer from eye fatigue/ strain when working at a computer in general, you should consider buying some of these clear lens glasses.

How do I know which type of glasses to buy?

As with everything, you always want to purchase high quality products as most of the time they are the most effective.

When it comes to blocking blue light in the evening, you want to purchase glasses that have lenses that block up to 98% of blue & green light, as green light is also sleep disruptive. 

Most blue light blocking glasses on the market around the world aren’t created to these specifications, so you need to find a company that has created a lens blocks out most of the blue & green light to help improve sleep (5.).

What percentage of blue light should my glasses block?

Be wary of buying off marketplaces such as ebay & amazon. Many have been tested & have often shown to only block around 50-80% of disruptive blue light.

In conclusion, if you’re using a computer though he day time for more than 3 or 4 hours, you should consider purchasing some glasses that filter out and reflect around 40-60% of blue light to help with eye strain and fatigue.

Everyone should consider looking into wearing red lens up to 98% blue and green light blocking glasses if they’re going to have screens on in the evening, to help stop their natural melatonin production being inhibited.

ZLEEPY® have created a Blue Light Blocking Glasses Duo 2 pack, which contain 2 pairs of high-quality acetate framed daytime & evening pair of glasses. The daytime pair have clear lenses that block out and reflect around 40% of blue light, the evening pair block out up to 98% of blue light, and 99% green light, to help with sleep & eye fatigue. You can see these glasses here.

How does blue light affect sleep?

How does blue light affect sleep?

There are different forms of blue light and green light that we are exposed to on a daily basis. These different types of blue light have positive and negative effect on our health and well-being.

This is because blue light can affect our sleep in positive and negative ways, depending on which type of blue light you are exposed to and when.

We know that getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night is optimal for a healthy lifestyle. We also know that, getting under 7 hours sleep over long periods of time can dramatically have negative mental and physical health implications.

This is why it is important to understand how and when we should expose ourselves to blue light, to refine our sleep quality and quantity.

What are the different types of blue light?

The different types of blue light are natural sunlight, LED Lights, LED television lights, fluorescent light bulbs and computer and smart phone screens.

We as humans are exposed to all of these types of blue light on a daily basis, but most of us don’t really understand how they can positively or negatively affect our health.

Why is daylight exposure good for sleep?

It is understood that daylight exposure has been found over recent years to positively affect our sleep duration. Several studies have also shown that it can improve sleep quality, decrease sleep-onset latency and increase evening fatigue so that you’re ready to sleep at night-time.

Scientists believe that the reasons it can affect our sleep positively is because our bodies have a natural “body clock” called the circadian rhythm. This tells us when we should be awake and when we should be asleep, this is affected and influenced by our exposure to blue light.

So basically, daylight exposure to natural forms of blue light from the sun can influence our body’s natural “body clock” to prepare to sleep once it becomes night-time.

Our top tip would be to go on a daily walk outside for an hour or so, to receive your daily amounts of natural blue light.

You can read more about this in the following study by clicking here!

Which type of blue light can negatively affect my health?

Humans, like many other animals were designed to be awake through the daytime and sleep after sunset until dawn. 

After sunset, there was never any blue light occurring in the natural habitat of any human. Fast-forward to 2021, most humans are exposed to some sort of blue light after sunset whether it be from their computer screen, smartphone or television.

Because technology has moved on so quickly within the last 100 years, humans have not been able to naturally adapt to these habit changes with evening blue light exposure.

Why does blue light negatively affect sleep?

As we know, humans were not designed to be exposed to any form of blue light after sunset as there hasn’t been enough time for evolution to run its course and get humans to adapt to blue light exposure.

Being exposed to blue light and green light after sunset can delay the production and secretion of our body’s natural sleep hormone melatonin.

What happens is blue light and green light can push back the production timing of melatonin, meaning that it takes longer to get into a deeper sleep and complete all of our sleep cycles before it’s time to wake back up again.

Doing this for long periods of time is actually meaning that we are losing sleep quality and duration, and it will add up over time. This in turn may have a negative effect on your health.

Sustained long periods of sleeping under 7 hours has been linked to cancer, heart disease and obesity.

How can I reduce my night-time blue light exposure?

We have a few tips and tricks to reduce your blue light exposure, to help optimise your sleep hygiene. The first one would be the obvious, just turn all of your devices and lights off in the house and light a few candles around the house. But for obvious reasons this is unrealistic for some people, as some people have to work in the evening on their computers for example.

Using blue & green light blocking glasses can help reduce exposure to blue light, which in turn can help improve sleep quality. What you need is a pair of blue and green light blocking glasses that block out nearly 100% of blue and green light.

These will have a deep red lens, but be warned, there are glasses of a cheap quality on marketplaces that have orange lenses. These glasses can sometimes only block between 50-80% of blue and green light. These lenses defeat the purpose of what the glasses are supposed to do. You can find high quality blue light blocking glasses that block out 100% of blue and green light here.

Once you have some high-quality blue light blocking glasses, wear them after sunset to help your body start producing melatonin more efficiently and effectively before bedtime.

If it is the summertime, start wearing the glasses at least two hours before you plan to go to bed to help induce the natural production of melatonin.

You can purchase red bulbs, or bulbs that you can change from normal warm light to red light. These are good to use for evenings as they don’t produce blue or green light, but you will be able to see when walking around your house.

What should I do when I need to go to the toilet in the night?

If you can navigate to the toilet without turning a light on, this is the perfect scenario as it lowers your chance of disrupting you, meaning you can get back to sleep easily.

If you can buy a lamp that has a dimmed red glow, this will help you to see without triggering any energising effects that blue light does.

Sunlight wakes me up in the morning, how can I combat this?

So, as you now have learned, blue light can have energising affects on the human body because we have receptors in our eyes and our skin.

Our top tip to help combat being woken up by morning sunlight, would be to use a fully blackout sleep mask. You can also invest in blackout blinds, but these obviously come at a much higher cost in comparison to a high-quality sleep mask.

Our conclusion, be mindful about how much blue light you take in after sunset as it can potentially be damaging your health. Make sure you try and get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Get into a good sleep hygiene habit, so that your body get used to going to bed and waking at consistent times.

You can find a high quality full blackout 3D Sleep Mask here.

ZLEEPY® Meditation Candle + Hush Earplug Set bridge design Superior nose sleep-mask-for-melatonni-alternative ZLEEPY® White Silk Pillowcase + Hush Earplug Set bridge design Superior nose sleep-mask-for-melatonni-alternative
Add to cart